Bruxism

Teeth Clenching and grinding are a common reaction to stress and is an abnormal habitual activity.
Clenching and grinding are also associated with snoring and sleep apnoea and an abnormal bite may be an influence.

What you may you notice:

  • Your facial muscles can become tender or give you headaches and migraines. You may feel that your jaw is aching or you struggle to open wide, for example; at the dentist or for long periods of time. 
  • Your jaw joints may make clicking noises or even lock.
  • Your gums can start receding or your teeth may become loose.
  • Teeth become worn and cracked and look aged.  
  • Often there is history of teeth breaking, needing fillings and crowns.

Management of Bruxism

At Neel Dentistry we offer three modalities of care which can be used singly or together in combination;
1- Modified SCI SPLINT
The most common treatment is with wearing night time dental splints which act as an orthotic. There are different types and designs available and upon assessment we can guide you to what’s appropriate for you. You may have had a soft mouthguard before, but we find these to be ineffective and can often make your clenching worse.

2- Botulinum Toxin Therapy
This is placed in your cheek muscles and is a very tried and tested way for reducing the forces of bruxism. Over time your muscles will have enlarged and will generate massive bite forces which then cause increased damage. Botulinum therapy reduces the size of these muscles by reducing the nerve stimulus to them. Over time these muscles become slimmer and cause less damage.

3- Cerezen in ear custom 3D printed devices.
This innovative therapy actually uses 3D printed hollow ear plugs to provide joint support and proprioceptive feedback to the jaw joint which in turn minimises the intensity and frequency of jaw clenching. It’s advantage is that it can be also used in the daytime as for example a lot of people clench whilst driving, working on their computers or in the gym.

Snoring & Sleep Apnoea

Do you or your partner snore?

Snoring is often linked to lifestyle, and there are some simple changes you can make to help prevent it.

Try these five self-help tips:

  1. Maintain a healthy weight and diet. Being overweight by just a few kilos can lead to snoring. Fatty tissue around your neck squeezes the airway and prevents air flowing in and out freely. 
  2. Try to sleep on your side rather than your back. While sleeping on your back, your tongue, chin and any excess fatty tissue under your chin can relax and squash your airway. Sleeping on your side prevents this. 
  3. Avoid alcohol before going to bed. Alcohol makes your muscles relax more than usual during a normal night’s sleep. This may encourage the back of your throat to collapse as you breathe, which causes snoring. 
  4. Quit or cut down on smoking. Cigarette smoke irritates the lining of your nose and throat, causing swelling and catarrh. This means airflow is decreased and you’re more likely to snore. 
  5. Keep your nose clear, so that you breathe in through your nose rather than your mouth. If an allergy is blocking your nose, try antihistamine tablets or a nasal spray. Ask your pharmacist for advice, or see your GP, if you’re affected by an allergy or any other condition that affects your nose or breathing, such as sinusitis.

      

 

Book your dental examination and sleep assessment today.

We would carry out a snoring/apnoea consultation and discuss the available options to help

A night time Mandibular Advancement (Sleepwell) device

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Customised ear plugs for partner

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A referral to a sleep specialist